Before you get to know how it feels spending time on the road testing Porsche’s entirely new 911 Carrera 4S Coupe, it is worth noting that it is the 50th anniversary of the 911 family range.
For five decades, the brains behind Porsche say the 911 has been the heart of their brand, and is still considered the quintessential sports car and perhaps the benchmark for all other makes. Till date, the 911 is also the central point of reference for all other Porsche series.
From the Cayenne to the Panamera, every Porsche is the most sporting automobile in its category, and each one carries a piece of the 911 philosophy. In addition to its classic yet unique lines, it has always been distinguished by its advanced technology.
Many of the ideas and technologies that made their debut in the Porsche 911 were conceived on the race track and this piece of metal was committed to the performance principle from the start, and motor racing is its most important test laboratory.
From the very beginning it has been at home on circuits all over the world, earning a reputation as a versatile and dependable winner – and this new range is no different.
For those not in the know, or without an eye for details, the most distinctive identifying feature of the all-wheel drive Carrera 4S version over the rear-wheel drive version is a wider rear section. The wheel arches are each 22mm wider, and each of the rear tyres is 10mm wider. This increases the track by 36mm over the Carrera. Impressive looks at the rear continues with an exclusive Carrera four tail-light panel that runs directly under the spoiler edge and visually joins the two rear lights.
Inside it is pretty much Porsche top quality and feel – business as usual but with the addition of an indicator that shows the torque distribution between all the wheels.
Making it the perfect choice for the man (or woman) is what is called the latest generation Porsche Traction Management (PTM) and all-wheel drive. This was optimised with a special focus on improving efficiency and fuel economy while still being able to have surefooted fun.
Talking of fun, or going quick for that matter, this particular trim level, going by the testimonial given by car freaks that have savoured the hospitality that comes with it, consistently posted sprint times of 0-100 km/h of 5.2 seconds, while hitting the quarter-mile mark at 13.31 seconds.
If you want to lap a track like a demon, acquaint yourself with a GT3 RS, and if you want to win traffic light wars, get into a 911 Turbo. But if you want a Porsche that is still pure but with slightly better table manners, then the Carrera 4S is the pick of the bunch.
Thanks mostly to the seven-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox and decent 12.0 litres/100km test average fuel consumption, you can easily commute with this car during the week and then have a real blast on the weekend.
Porsche adds that in developing the new 911 Carrera generation, preparations were already made in tuning the chassis for the additional driving of the front wheels in the new all-wheel drive 911. That explains why the vehicle is largely based on the rear-wheel drive version. A significant exception is the wider track of the rear axle. Together with the already mentioned PTM all-wheel drive, this offers even higher stability in bends and even more powerful acceleration.
As in all 911 models, the longer wheelbase – lengthened by 100mm compared to the previous model – provides for significantly better stability at high speeds. There are other systems that guarantee top driving performance. Some come as standard and some optional depending on the model. These are the advanced Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), dynamic engine mounts, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), innovative electro-mechanical power steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and a high-performance brake system with bigger wheels and tyres.
The bottom line here is that the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S is the complete sports car for all occasions. For the local market, the dealership located on the highbrow Akin Adesola Street, regarded as one of the automobile highways in Lagos, is the home for Porsche luxury cars.
The 1km board came up at 228.35km/h and stopped at a true 286km/h top speed when we unleashed it at the Gerotek test facility. That said, there is more to this R 1 375 000 car than just what the tested numbers suggest.
Fun for a while but then mostly forgotten as you begin to revel in what this 911 Carrera 4S has to offer, and begin to keep your eyes on the road. And when you have a 3.8-litre boxer engine behind your back delivering 294kW at 7,400 rpm and 440Nm at 5,600rpm, you need to be rather sharp if you want to enjoy all that this sports car has to offer.